In my previous photography career, most of my subjects were more those in need of a close up and wide angle lenses.
I never really had need for a lens for long focal length.
This time however – I am finding I have a need for such a lens.
Maybe it is just a simple case that the lens purchased with the camera body is so good it is covering all those other lenses I previously used in the days of Canon kit.
Fuji offer me a choice of 3 long focal length zoom lenses:
The 50-140mm f2.8
This would be a direct follow on from my 16-55mm in focal length.
As much as I love the f2.8 aperture through the focal length range – truth is, the longest focal length comes up short with what I need.
I need something that can extend my focal length by at least twice that offered by this lens…
That brings me to the 100-400mm which comes in 2 flavours
There is the vanilla version that is a straight 100-400mm focal length lens, or the version that comes with a 1.4 converter built in that would extend the maximum focal length to almost 600mm.
That might be nice to have, but I didn’t have need for that extra feature – so I settled for the vanilla version which is the XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR.
The important points of note are that it is still a weather resistant lens, and comes with an onboard image stabilisation system to help counteract camera shake created when trying to work with this lens via hand holding. It is a heavy lens and is often more suited to use with a tripod.
I chose to get the vanilla version of the 100-400 mm lens – and, WOW, it is heavy all right – and BIG!
My initial play with the lens has taught me that this is NOT a lens you just get out of the box, bolt on to a camera body and become a fluent user of.
Using the picture from one of my first trips as a reference point on the left, the picture on the right shows you what 400mm of focal length gets you:
That is the crane operators cab you can see occupying a significant part of the picture – and that is a person you can see working from a cradle to lock the spigots that hold a container in place. You can click on the left picture to enlarge it and see how insignificant that crane operators cab is. As for seeing a person working?
I’m more than happy with my choice of lens purchase – just need the time to get out and use it! Maybe time for a shot of the moon?
(when talking about focal lengths, all those quoted above are for the crop sensor system used by Fuji X system cameras. In Full frame they are 1.5 times longer – 400=600 in FF)